The Wallace High School recently hosted the First Sitting of this year’s Senior Drugs and Alcohol Youth Forum. The Forum, jointly organized by the Council for Education in World Citizenship and Lisburn YMCA, is an exciting initiative for Year 13 students that runs over six months, providing the opportunity to address the problems surrounding drugs and alcohol. The Forum also sets out to challenge the students’ perception of the global drug problem and broaden their ability to understand and debate issues related to drug production, trade and control policies.
Ten delegates from each participating school – Wallace, Friends’ ,St Colm’s , Hunterhouse , St Patrick’s, Grosvenor and Aquinas will meet as a Youth Parliament throughout their Year 13, with the final and Third Sitting being held in the Belfast City Hall in March 2006. The young people will draw up their own policies to tackle drugs and alcohol related problems in society and in schools, and debate these within the Council Chamber.
Paul Francis, from the Council for Education in World Citizenship, commented, “This active project provides an opportunity for the voice of young people to be heard on issues that affect themselves and the rest of society. Developing the key skills of effective communication, problem solving and decision-making are a vital aspect of this initiative.”
Michael McKay from Lisburn YMCA went on, “Our First Sitting was very successful and promoted a great deal of debate amongst the delegates. Our guest speakers from Threshold Services and TIPSA were very well received and we are all very much looking forward to the next sitting of the Forum. Thanks must go to our facilitators from St Patrick’s and Wallace High Schools . These facilitators had taken part in the Forum last year so were able to guide our new delegates.”
Stephen Knowles from Wallace concluded, “I learnt a great deal at the First Sitting and it was an excellent opportunity to meet young people from different schools. I am looking forward to working on the Forum throughout this year.”
Last modified: October 16, 2007